my late husband and I had legal guardianship of our grandson at the time he was 16 month old. we have raised him as our own--he is now 15 years old. My husband died suddenly in 2001 leaving me with no benefits from his 40 years of work (30 years in the military) I adopted David in 2006 because I did not want to leave this earth with my hard earned money going to no one. I was told recently, that David is eligible for his grandfather's social security money. I never remarried. I have tried to apply for disability for a chronic heart failure condition along with diabetes and major depression but was told I was not sick enough and I could not apply for social security benefits from my husband because I am not old enough (60) and make too much from my military retirement and disability funds. Besides I adopted David after my husband was deceased. I am not understanding why he and I paid into these funds all of our lives to never be able to collect it. do I need to hire a lawyer to get a straight answer from the Social Security people? I'm sure they are tired of seeing me!xxxxxxxxxxxx
my husband and I had and still have the legal custody court ordered guardianship paperwork. Though my adoption of David outweighs these papers, I kept them to show the consistency of care has never been broken.
Thank you for your follow-up. I appreciate the additional details.Guardianship is not the same as adoption, the state would still consider your spouse as a 'stranger to the child because the child was never formally his. However this isn't a traditional 'legal stranger' issue because the child was still your husband's dependent and the child was his grandchild which still make him immediate family. In this situation your child should be eligible for social security and I am really not clear on why you are being denied. Frankly I likewise see this as a wrongful denial--I do suggest that you consider retaining counsel and having the social security attorney file a petition on your request. You should be able to retain counsel at www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com by browsing their listings.Hope that helps.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).